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Saturday, May 18
The Indiana Daily Student

sports women's basketball

Freshmen add talent to IU roster

IU Women vs. U of I

The Hoosiers brought in the No. 23 recruiting class to recuperate the loss of nearly 70 percent of scoring from last year.

Three of the five newcomers are freshmen who have received quality minutes in the first two exhibition games.

The top-25 recruiting class is due, in part, to the talent that IU Coach Felisha Legette-Jack built.

IU won its first two exhibition games this season by a score of 92-39 against St. Ambrose and 50-47 against Indianapolis.

“These kids are going to be competitive, fun and have that spirit of Indiana every single day,” Legette-Jack said in an IU Newsroom press release.
 
Quaneisha McCurty
True freshman center Quaneisha McCurty was highly regarded out of Dalton High School in Dalton, Ga.

She knows what it means to make the title game. In Georgia’s AAA State Championship, she posted a triple-double. She was named the Best of Preps North Georgia Player of the Year and was all-state selection by the Georgia Athletics Coaches Association. The 6-foot-6-inch center was the No. 42 prospect in the 2011 class, according to the All Star Girls Report.

In high school, she averaged 14 points, 12 rebounds and about five blocks per game.
In 2011’s first two exhibition games, McCurty recorded 21 points, 16 rebounds and four blocks.

“Quaneisha is making the biggest strides right now,” Legette-Jack said. “The way she is running the floor, keeping her hands high, and she’s understanding the offensive segments that we are running with her down low.”

McCurty’s height and basketball IQ add another element to the team.

“She makes some mistakes out there but goes back after and is constantly getting rebounds and getting blocked shots, which we haven’t had in the past couple of years,” junior center Sasha Chaplin said.
 
Candyce Ussery
The loss of point guard Whitney Lindsay from last season meant the Hoosiers needed a replacement.

They found one with a member of the St. Louis American Girls “Fab Five,” true freshman point guard Candyce Ussery.

Ussery elaborated about the reasons she was attracted to IU.

“I like how Indiana likes to push the ball down the court and has a faster-paced game,” Ussery said. “I didn’t want to go too far away from home, and Coach Jack welcomed me like I was her daughter.”

Ussery will split time at the point guard position with sophomore guard Andrea Newbauer.

Ussery was the No. 59 point guard in the nation, according to ESPNHoopGurlz.com.
The Missouri native averaged 12.5 points and 4.8 rebounds per game for Hazelwood Central in St. Louis. She led her team with 145 assists last season.

“Candyce is doing a good job of running the team and keeping them organized,” Legette-Jack said. “I like the fact that she sees the whole floor.”

Ussery said she wants to make a difference on the floor for the Hoosiers.

“I just want to come in and make something happen, regardless if it’s a steal, or a shot or assist,” Ussery said. “I just want to come in and be a game changer.”
 
Necole Sterling
Adding to the trifecta of freshmen not from the Hoosier State is guard Necole Sterling from Manassas, Va.

Sterling ranked as the No. 43 wing player in the nation, according to
ESPNHoopGurlz.com. The Virginia High School Coaches Association also gave Sterling All-State honorable mention her senior year. She averaged 13.3 points, six rebounds and six assists per game in high school.

“Necole is playing like a freshman,” Legette-Jack said. “If we can get her to have more energy, then I think we can have a great player.”

The players have also noticed the freshmen’s development.

“They’ve improved quite a bit since the summertime,” Chaplin said. “They are starting to understand coming in, playing college basketball and the role they have to play.”

Sterling is coming off a senior season that included a career-best 22 assists in a game. Now, she’ll play in Branch McCracken Court.

“We need our freshmen not to be like freshmen,” Legette-Jack said. “We need them to be like sophomores because we have to utilize everyone we have.”

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